PREVIEW | Everton v Manchester City

Everton welcome the reigning Premier League champions to Goodison Park for a midweek clash. Manchester City are sat fifth in the league table, an unfamiliar position for Pep and company.

Everton rewind

Everton lost away from home the previous week 2-1 to Tottenham. The opening eight minutes of the game would start very open and both teams would look equally dangerous. Come the ninth minute, our worst fears would come to fruition, Richarlison would score a relatively easy goal three yards from the goal. Thankfully he did not celebrate and was quite respectful about scoring against his old flame.

It would be a rough 10 minutes for the Toffees as in the 18th. My key player for Spurs, Son, would put his team up 2-0 within the opening 20 minutes. The fighting spirit of this Dyche team did not drop their heads like old regimes would have.

A pivotal moment in the 24th minute would see Idrissa Gana-Gueye subbed off due to an injury and be replaced by Andre Gomes. Gomes would be a nice change of pace for this game and a needed one. He would be involved in Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s goal that would be called back for a foul in the build-up, a very soft foul at that. He also would be the lone goal scorer for the Blues, the goal came in the 82nd off of a corner. A great shot from a tough angle.

The game would go on to finish 2-1, but not without a flare for the dramatics. Danjuma who would see a few chances wasted by his selfishness on the ball, but in the 95th minute, his selfishness would almost pay off! Danjuma would look to smite his old team with a late equalizer but the ball would just come off of Vicario’s thigh and be inches away from crossing the line. Such a shame, I believe we deserved something from that match.

Manchester City Vs. Fluminense

Manchester City would have their match against Brentford postponed, so their last football action would be against Fluminense in the Club world cup. It was a one way street from the first minute to the last minute, as expected. Alvarez would open the scoring within the first 42 seconds of the game. City would only make it 2-0 by halftime thanks to an own goal off of a Fluminense defender.

The game would go on as expected and City would add two more in the 72nd minute and the 88th. Julian Alvarez would be awarded MOTM with two goals, one assist and a decent 86% pass percentage, not bad for a striker. Even without Haaland, they are one of the best teams on the planet.

Everton key player

Amadou Onana must on his A-game in order for Everton to be effective and on the front foot in order to compete with City. Onana had a bang average performance against Tottenham and had the penalty miss against Fulham but he is still the player we know. He is disruptive in the midfield. He is a defensive stud, here is a list of his stats per 90 according to

Onana wins on average eight ground duels per 90. Disruption is the best way to explain his style of play and in order to beat City you have to disrupt their fast passing breaks, which take place via their explosive and technical midfield. It will be a battle of midfields.

Manchester City key player

Rodri may be one of the best if not the best midfielder on the planet at this moment, he is a phenom and City’s key to their style of play. The way he passes the ball is class, he is in the 99th percentile in passing percentage with 93% accuracy. He is so safe and progressive with the ball, hardly misplacing a ball. In that 93%, he has garnered 0.36 assists per 90.

Manchester City dearly misses him when he is not available for a match. “In fact, looking at their record with and without Rodri since the start of the 2022-23 season in all competitions, City have a win percentage of 72% with him (53 from 74 games), which drops below 50% without Rodri.” stated

Rodri did take a brutal challenge during the Club World Cup final and was subbed off in the minutes after, but he did say he would be fit for the Everton match. Ultimately it is not up to him but up to the training and medical staff.

Final thoughts

This may be the perfect time to take advantage of City’s “poor” run of form and their list of injured players, which include ; Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland, Doku and possibly Rodri. Everton on the other hand are going to be missing their midfield machine and goalscoring ace, Doucoure.

I do hope to see Danjuma once again. He changes games for better and for worse at times but he is a dynamic player and can flip the game on a whim. Possibly with Gana set to miss, will we see another Gomes appearance? He was the best player on the pitch versus Tottenham. He proved us all wrong, hopefully he can be a consistent player and contribute to this season for the better.

City is never an easy match but we are rocking and consistently putting in decent performances and we are not a team that rolls over after the slightest adversity. I’m excited to see how we do and how we line up! lead us to the gloryland Dyche. UTFT

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